Garden Dart Noctuidae

Euxoa nigricans (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 32-40mm. Adults of this species are variable in appearance. Most have dark brown forewings with paler reniform and orbicular stigmata. Hindwings are whitish brown, darker towards the outer margins.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: July to mid-August, occasionally a little earlier or later depending on season.

Status: Generally distributed but scarce. Most often recorded from coastal localities in Down. There have been recent records from Dundrum, Murlough National Nature Reserve and suburban gardens in the Greater Belfast area.

Ecology: Adults are attracted to light in very small numbers and also feed at flowers especially Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, Buddleia Buddleja davidii and probably other garden plants. The larvae feed from March to June on clover Trifolium spp., plantain Plantago spp., lettuce and onion and possibly other wild and cultivated plants. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; occurs as far north as central Scandinavia and south to Portugal.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2082 Agassiz number: 73.314

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=6168

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